On School Threat Hoaxes

This week, two of our schools dealt with vague threats that turned out to be false. While we take these threats very seriously, we also follow the lead of police investigators and aim to strike a balance between being vigilant and keeping students in class. I want to give you a bit more insight into our decisions this week.

Too Much Politics, Too Many Policies

The PA Department of Education announced this week that our elementary and middle schools will not receive a School Performance Profile (SPP) this school year. The move is due to widespread reports of dramatically lower scores on PSSA exams, especially in mathematics, after the tests were changed to align with new Pennsylvania Core Standards. The decision by PDE is appropriate, but it can also be seen as an implicit admission that state education policy in Harrisburg has been too hurried.

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!

IMG_5387It is always energizing to see buses rolling into our school campus and see students in our classrooms! The 2015-2016 school year got off to a great start on Tuesday.

As I proudly begin my eighteenth year as superintendent at Conestoga Valley School District, I can reflect on a multitude of accomplishments over the years that we, as a team, have achieved.

Preparing for PSSA Results

Believe it or not, the start of the 2015-2016 school year is just two weeks away! We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Our teachers are already busy making preparations for another successful academic year.

This is also the time of year when we compile our students’ scores on the state’s standardized tests that they took last spring. I want to prepare everyone for what may, at first glance, appear to be surprising results. There is an explanation—so we should not overreact.

Bumps in the Road

Last week, the LNP published a timely editorial in support of the Lancaster County Academy, an alternative to traditional high school. LCA is not a cyber program, but it does offer students individualized educational programs that help them earn their diplomas despite what are often trying personal circumstances. I commend LNP for seeing the value in this “gem” of our county’s public schools.

Earn This!

CVH-178250-29858169On behalf of our school board, administration, staff and CV community, last week I offered the Class of 2015 our congratulations on their wonderful achievement and conveyed our best wishes for our graduates’ continued success in the future. I thought it would be appropriate to share my remarks to the graduates. Best wishes to all for a safe and rewarding summer!

Q&A on Our SOSL Transition

We are about a month away from the official start of our personnel partnership with SOSL. Our transitioning employees continue to ask good questions, and I thought it would be helpful to post a Q&A with Phyllis Heverly Flesher, our director of administrative services, on this blog. If you have some questions of your own, or are simply interested in what this transition means for our employees, I invite you to read on.

Reflections on Change

This month our School Board approved a contract with School Operation Services of Lancaster (SOSL) to provide our support staff employees next year in the aide, cafeteria, and custodial/maintenance ranks.  This change did not come easily and our Board gave it many hours of study, including various options to address the matter.